Actresses That Went To Ivy League Universities

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1.
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel, to a Jewish family. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, an Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an American-born artist (from Cincinnati, Ohio), who also acts as Natalie's agent. She left Israel for Washington...
“ Harvard ” - AliceThrace
 
2.
Connie Britton
Actress, Nashville
Connie Britton began playing country music fading sensation Rayna Jaymes in Nashville after having wrapped production for the five season long Friday Night Lights alongside Kyle Chandler. She previously appeared in Universal's Friday Night Lights -the movie- directed by Peter Berg and also starring Billy Bob Thornton; and Edward Burns' independent feature Looking for Kitty...
“ Dartmouth ” - AliceThrace
 
3.
Rashida Jones
Rashida Jones was born in Los Angeles, the younger daughter of media mogul, producer, and musician Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton. She has an older sister, Kidada Jones, and five half-siblings by her father's other relationships. Her father is African-American, and also has Welsh ancestry...
“ Harvard ” - AliceThrace
 
4.
Meryl Streep
Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 19 times, and has won it three times. Meryl was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolf (Wilkinson), a commercial artist, and Harry William Streep...
“ Yale ” - AliceThrace
 
5.
Angela Bassett
Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett's presence has been felt in theaters, stages, and television screens throughout the world. Angela Evelyn Bassett was born on August 16, 1958 in New York City, to Betty Jane (Gilbert), a social worker, and Daniel Benjamin Bassett, a preacher's son...
“ Yale ” - AliceThrace
 
6.
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Academy Award-nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal was born on November 16, 1977, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. Her parents, Naomi Foner (née Achs) and Stephen Gyllenhaal, are both filmmakers, and her brother is actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Her mother is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, while her father has Swedish, English, Swiss-German, and German ancestry...
“ Columbia ” - AliceThrace
 
7.
Mira Sorvino
Actress, Mimic
Mira Katherine Sorvino was born on September 28, 1967 in Manhattan. She is the daughter of Lorraine Davis, an actress turned drama therapist, and veteran character actor Paul Sorvino. Her father's family were Italian immigrants. The young Sorvino was intelligent, an avid reader and an exceptional scholar...
“ Harvard ” - AliceThrace
 
8.
Laura Linney
Laura Leggett Linney was born in New York City on February 5, 1964, into a theatre family. Her father was prominent playwright Romulus Linney, whose own great-grandfather was a congressman from North Carolina. Her mother, Miriam Anderson (Leggett), is a nurse. Although she did not live in her father's house (her parents having divorced when she was an infant)...
“ Brown ” - AliceThrace
 
9.
Famke Janssen
Actress, X-Men
Famke Beumer Janssen was born on November 5, 1964 in Amstelveen, Netherlands, and has two siblings, director Antoinette Beumer and actress Marjolein Beumer. She studied economics for a year at the University of Amsterdam. Moving to America in 1984, Famke modeled for Chanel in New York City. Later, taking a break from modeling...
“ Columbia ” - AliceThrace
 
10.
Brooke Shields
"Want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing". If you have not heard of Brooke Shields before, this tagline from her Calvin Klein Jeans ad had to grab your attention. Not that she has not had a previously noteworthy resume. She was born on May 31, 1965 in New York City and, at age 12...
“ Princeton ” - AliceThrace
 
11.
Frances McDormand
Actress, Fargo
Frances Louise McDormand was born on June 23, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. She was adopted by Canadian-born parents Noreen Eloise (Nickleson), a nurse from Ontario, and Vernon Weir McDormand, a minister from Nova Scotia, who raised her in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. She earned her B.A. in Theater from Bethany College in 1979 and her MFA from Yale in 1982...
“ Yale ” - AliceThrace
 
12.
Emma Watson
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born in Paris, France, to English parents, Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson, both lawyers. She moved to Oxfordshire when she was five, where she attended the Dragon School. From the age of six, Emma knew that she wanted to be an actress and, for a number of years, she trained at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts...
“ Brown ” - AliceThrace
 
13.
Jane Lynch
Actress, Glee
“ Cornell ” - AliceThrace
 
14.
Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth Banks was born Elizabeth Mitchell in Pittsfield, a small city in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts near the New York border, on February 10, 1974. She is the daughter of Ann (Wallace), who worked in a bank, and Mark P. Mitchell, a factory worker. Elizabeth describes herself as having been seen as a "goody two-shoes" in her youth who was nominated for the local Harvest Queen...
“ University of Pennsylvania ” - AliceThrace
 
15.
Claire Danes
New Yorker Claire Danes was born in Manhattan, the daughter of Carla (Hall), a day-care provider and artist, and Christopher Danes, a computer consultant and photographer. She has an older brother, Asa. Her paternal grandfather, Gibson Andrew Danes, was a Dean of the Yale School of Art and Architecture, and Claire has English, German, Scottish, Irish, and Austrian ancestry...
“ Yale ” - AliceThrace
 
16.
Lauren Graham
Actress, Gilmore Girls
Lauren Graham was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Donna Grant and Lawrence Graham, a candy industry lobbyist. Her father was from New York and her mother was from the American South, and Lauren has Irish, English, and Scottish ancestry. She grew up in Northern Virginia, USA (Fairfax, Arlington, and Great Falls...
“ Columbia ” - AliceThrace
 
17.
Candice Bergen
Actress, Murphy Brown
One cool, eternally classy lady, Candice Bergen was elegantly poised for trendy "ice princess" stardom when she first arrived on the screen, but she gradually reshaped that débutante image both on- and off-camera. A staunch, outspoken feminist with a decisive edge, she went on to take a sizable portion of these contradicting qualities to film and, most particularly, to late 1980s television...
“ University of Pennsylvania ” - AliceThrace
 
18.
Rachel Dratch
Rachel Dratch grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts. After graduating from Dartmouth College with a degree in Drama and Psychology, she moved out to Chicago, where she studied with Del Close at Improvolympic. She was on the house team, "Victim's Family", with Adam McKay. Rachel went on to tour with the Second City Touring Company and eventually advanced to the Second City Mainstage...
“ Dartmouth ” - AliceThrace
 
19.
Stockard Channing
Actress, Grease
One of Broadway and Hollywood's cleverer talents who tends to shine a smart, cynical light on her surroundings, Stockard Channing was born Susan Williams Antonia Stockard on February 13, 1944, in New York City, to a Catholic family, with English and Irish ancestry. The daughter of Lester Napier Stockard...
“ Harvard ” - AliceThrace
 
20.
Jodie Foster
Alicia Christian Foster was born in Los Angeles on November 19, 1962. She is the daughter of Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (Almond) and Lucius Fisher Foster III, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and later real estate broker. Brandy had filed for divorce in 1959 after having three children with Lucius, but the exes had a brief re-encounter in 1962 which resulted in Alicia's birth...
“ Yale ” - AliceThrace
 
21.
Julia Stiles
Julia O'Hara Stiles was born on March 28, 1981 in New York City, the outgoing daughter of a Greenwich Village artist mother, Judith Newcomb Stiles, and an elementary school teacher father, John O'Hara. She is the eldest of three children, and has Irish, English, and German ancestry. Encouraged to take modern dance lessons at an early age...
“ Columbia ” - AliceThrace
 
22.
Aisha Tyler
Actress, Archer
“ Dartmouth ” - AliceThrace
 
23.
Sigourney Weaver
Actress, Aliens
Sigourney Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver in Leroy Hospital in Manhattan, New York City. Her father, TV producer Sylvester L. Weaver Jr., originally wanted to name her Flavia, because of his passion for Roman history (he had already named her elder brother Trajan). Her mother, Elizabeth Inglis (née Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins)...
“ Yale ” - AliceThrace
 
24.
Amy Brenneman
Actress, Heat
Amy Frederica Brenneman was born in New London, Connecticut, to Frederica (Shoenfield), a judge in the Connecticut State Superior Court, and Russell Langdon Brenneman, Jr., an environmental lawyer. Amy's mother was one of the first women to graduate from Harvard. Amy is also a graduate of Harvard, where she majored in comparative religion...
“ Harvard ” - AliceThrace
 
25.
Vanessa Bayer
Vanessa Bayer was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where she attended Orange High School. She is best known as a cast member of Saturday Night Live. In 2004, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. During her college career, she worked as an intern for Sesame Street and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
“ University of Pennsylvania ” - AliceThrace
 
26.
“ Dartmouth ” - AliceThrace
 
27.
Zoe Kazan
Actress, Ruby Sparks
Zoe Swicord Kazan was born in Los Angeles, California, to screenwriters Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord. She is the granddaughter of director Elia Kazan. She is of Greek (from her paternal grandfather), English, and German descent. Kazan received her BA in Theater from Yale University. In the fall of 2006...
“ Yale ” - AliceThrace
 
28.
Elisabeth Shue
Elisabeth Shue was born in Wilmington, Delaware, to Anne Brewster (Wells), who worked for the Chemical Banking Corporation, and James William Shue, a lawyer and real estate developer. She is of German and English ancestry, including descent from Mayflower passengers. Shue's parents divorced while she was in the fourth grade...
“ Harvard ” - AliceThrace
 
29.
Kathryn Hahn
Kathryn Hahn was born in Westchester, Illinois, but her family then moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where she spent most of her time growing up. She is of German, Irish, and some English descent. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in theater from Northwestern University. She later attended Yale, where...
“ Yale ” - AliceThrace
 
30.
“ University of Pennsylvania ” - AliceThrace
 
31.
Tatyana Ali
On January 24, 1979, Tatyana Marisol Ali was born to Sonia, who was a nurse from Panama, and Sheriff Ali, a retired police officer from Trinidad. At the age of four she started singing and got a taste of fame when she begged her mother to take her to an audition for Sesame Street. She went on to perform in many productions in her native city...
“ Harvard ” - AliceThrace
 
32.
Jordana Brewster
Actress, Fast Five
Raven-haired beauty Jordana Brewster was born on April 26, 1980 in Panama City, Panama. Her mother, Maria João (Leal de Sousa), is a Brazilian-born model who appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1978. Her father, Alden Brewster, is an American-born investment banker who has English and Scottish ancestry...
“ Yale ” - AliceThrace
 
33.
Jennifer Westfeldt
Jennifer is an American actress and filmmaker, who is perhaps best known for writing and starring in the indie hits, Kissing Jessica Stein and Friends with Kids. A graduate from Yale University, Jennifer started her career as a New York-based theater actor, starring in over 25 off-Broadway and regional productions...
“ Yale ” - AliceThrace
 
34.
“ Columbia ” - AliceThrace
 
35.
Amanda Peet
Actress, 2012
Amanda Peet was born and raised in New York City. She is the daughter of Penny (Levy), a social worker, and Charles Peet, a lawyer, and has an older sister. Her father was of mostly English and German ancestry, and her mother was from a Jewish family (from Germany, Russia, and Hungary). Peet's maternal great-grandfathers were politician Samuel Levy and showbiz impresario S.L. Rothafel...
“ Columbia ” - AliceThrace
 
36.
Sarah Wayne Callies
Sarah Wayne Callies was born in La Grange, Illinois, and was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, the daughter of Valerie Wayne, an professor of English, and David E. Callies, a law professor. She graduated from Dartmouth College and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Denver's National Theatre Conservatory...
“ Dartmouth ” - AliceThrace
 
37.
Becki Newton
Actress, Ugly Betty
Becki grew up in Guilford, Connecticut. She started performing in local productions and summer stock theater at age 13. She studied European History at the University of Pennsylvania, during which time she spent several semesters abroad. After graduating, Becki immediately moved to NYC to pursue Broadway...
“ University of Pennsylvania ” - AliceThrace
 
38.
Rachel Nichols
Actress, Star Trek
Model and actress Rachel Emily Nichols was born in Augusta, Maine to Alison and James Nichols, a teacher. She has English, French-Canadian, German, Irish, Italian and Scottish ancestry. After graduating from high school, she attended Columbia University in New York City, where she eventually graduated with a double major in math and economics...
“ Columbia ” - AliceThrace
 
39.
Scottie Thompson
Actress, Skyline
Scottie Thompson grew up in Richmond, Virginia. With a love for dance and performing Thompson started dancing ballet at an early age. In 1994 she played the role of Clara in Richmond Ballet's 'The Nutcracker'. After graduating from Collegiate School in 2000, she took a year off to dance with the Richmond Ballet...
“ Harvard ” - AliceThrace
 
40.
“ Columbia ” - AliceThrace
 
41.
“ University of Pennsylvania ” - AliceThrace
 
42.
“ Harvard ” - AliceThrace
 
43.
Ellie Kemper
Ellie Kemper, born Elizabeth Claire Kemper on May 2, 1980, is an American actress, comedian, and writer. She is best-known for her role as "Erin Hannon" in the NBC series, The Office, as well as her supporting roles in the films, Bridesmaids and 21 Jump Street). She plays the title role in the Netflix comedy series...
“ Princeton ” - AliceThrace
 
44.
“ Brown ” - AliceThrace
 
45.
JoBeth Williams
Actress, Poltergeist
The product of a musical family, Margaret JoBeth Williams was born in Houston, Texas, to Frances Faye (Adams), a dietitian, and Fredric Roger Williams, a wire/cable company manager and opera singer. Her father encouraged her early interest in theater during high school. She made her professional debut at age 18 in a Houston-based musical production...
“ Brown ” - AliceThrace